THROUGH the ages and throughout the world, flowers and herbs have been used as medicine, gifts and treatments by virtue of their powers.
Some of the most famous and well-loved varieties have hidden meanings that very few people are aware of.
Here we open the hidden world behind the flowers we love:
The daisy look-a-like gets its name from the Greek word ‘astron,’ meaning star. With its wildflower appearance and multitude of colours, the aster is a perennial favorite but blooms best in the summer. Among its colour variety, purple asters are most common and generally symbolise wisdom and royalty. The flower overall suggests devotion, purity, and faith.
One of the most popular wedding flowers, the peony is a symbol of good fortune, a happy marriage, and everlasting prosperity. Perhaps their happiness is why the flower comes in every colour except blue. Their blooming period is fleeting – late spring and early summer.
But don’t let this strongly scented, proud petaled flower fool you – the peony also represents bashfulness, according to one Greek myth.
Morning glories are named so for their fleeting lifespan, blooming after sunrise and dying before nightfall that very evening.
Because of their short time in the sun, these colourful flowers represent unrequited or restricted love – a warning to cherish the brief moments when love is in reach. There are numerous folktales about how the flower drew this meaning.
It is said Victorians placed morning glories on the graves of lovers to signify a love forever unreturned. On the other hand, in one Chinese myth God banishes two lovers to separate sides of a river, allowing them to meet just once a year.
Contrary to modern views, marigolds were not always considered a delightfully positive flower. Throughout many cultures, marigolds were thought of as a link between death and love.
They represented grief or despair for the loss of a loved one–most notably shown in Mexican culture as the marigold is the spearhead for Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations.
There are many types of daisies–Ox-eye, Blue, Lazy, Prairie–but Shasta Daisies are commonly known for their summer appearances because they thrive in direct sunlight and don’t need much water.
These simple flowers symbolise innocence and purity and have been graced with this reputation for centuries. For instance, in Victorian times when a child stumbled and fell, one would say ‘ups-a-daisy.’
Over time this phrase altered to ‘whoops-a-daisy’ or ‘oopsie-daisy’ as expressions uttered when someone makes an innocent mistake.
This bright yellow flower is more than just a symbol of happiness and vitality. According to the Greek myth of Apollo and Clytie, it also represents unwavering adoration.
The story tells of a water nymph named Clytie who in her rage from Sun God Apollo’s unrequited love, exposes his relationship with Leucothoe. In anger, Apollo denied her further and turned her into a flower.
But despite this, she continued to gaze upon him as he rode his chariot across the sky – just as the sunflower loyally follows the sun’s path from East to West throughout the day.
As the ultimate sign of devotion, sunflowers are typically gifted to couples for their third wedding anniversary.
For centuries, lavender has been lauded for its healing properties. It was used as an insect repellent by the Romans, a perfume by the Greeks, and in healing concoctions by monks in the Middle Ages.
But being the colour of royalty, lavender’s purple hue denotes refinement and luxury. The flowers from a lavender plant are symbolic, representing devotion or luck.